When you run, it’s obvious that you can’t see yourself. Unless, of course, you’re running next to a full length mirror. Therefore, it becomes difficult to see if your posture is correct. Have you suddenly started getting back pain? Are you running correctly? Here are five of the most common issues runners patients face…
Asymmetrical running pattern
This means landing harder on one side of the body than the other and is one of the first things you need to recognise. Listen to the sound of your running. The sound can tell you a lot about the way you run. If you come down harder on your right side than the left, or vice versa, it could signal an inbuilt mechanical flaw of the running style, which can cause you pain.
Inward knee collapse
Many people often face the problem of knees, which collapse inward when they run. This is caused by weak gluteus muscles. Remember, when you run, your knees are supposed to stay in line with your hips. However, if your hip muscles are weak and don’t support your body weight, the weight will go to your knees and cause them to bow inward. To rectify this, you need to do exercises to build up the posterior gluteus medius and the gluteus maximus — two key muscles in your butt.
Running on your fore-foot
Are you a rear-foot runner or a fore-front runner? Rearfoot runners strike down harder on the rear part of the feet, while forefoot runners strike down harder on the front part of their feet. While neither running style is better than the other, the impact forces may be different between the two running styles. Rear-foot runners usually tend to have a higher amount of force exerted on their feet when they run as compared to forefoot runners. The problem with forefoot running sometimes is that many people don’t have strong enough feet to support their weight. So if you’re planning to change to forefoot or barefoot running, make the progression gradually so that you can increase the strength of your foot.
Do you swing your arms wildly when you run/ jog? Over-swinging your arms can cause you back pain when you run. These movements in the long term can contribute to stress on your back. Even over-striding, which happens when the steps you take are too big for your body size, can cause excessive rotation since the pelvis and spine move in one direction more than the other.
When you run, swinging one arm further back than the other also leads to back pain.
Wear the right size shoes
Wearing shoes that aren’t appropriate for your foot type can spell doom for your back, hips and knee. If you can’t go in for custom-made shoes, opt for special running shoes.